Lockheed Martin subsidiary Sikorsky has announced that the U.S. Navy has authorized full-rate production of the CH-53K King Stallion heavy lift helicopter. According to the company, the approval will increase production to more than 20 helicopters a year. The model is expected to remain in production through at least 2032.
“Ramping up production of the most technologically advanced helicopter in the world allows the U.S. Marine Corps to build out its CH-53K King Stallion fleet and support mission success,” said Sikorsky CH-53K program director Bill Falk. “This production authorization stabilizes Sikorsky’s domestic supply chain and is a testament to our enduring partnership with the Marine Corps.”
The Marine Corps achieved initial operational capability (IOC) for the CH-53K last April and is expected to acquire up to 200 aircraft. Sikorsky has delivered a total of seven CH-53Ks to the Marine Corps to date. The company noted that its supplier network for CH-53K production includes more than 200 companies across 34 states.